8 Ways to Go Green in Spring

CLUTTER

There’s nothing we love more than great weather, sunlight and the perfect excuse to get back to nature.
We won’t bore you with those expected metaphors of spring and new beginnings. Instead, we’ve made a detailed of list of simple changes you can make this month that not only reduce your impact, but can also actually save you money.

1. Declutter your life.

We mean get rid of all of that stuff…that is everything you don’t want or use on a regular basis. While “spring clean” may not be a new turn of phrase, the task is no doubt daunting. What do you toss? What should you donate? What can be reused? And, finally, what can you recycle?

Keep It: A good rule of thumb to remember is if you have used it in the past year, chances are you’ll use it again. We’re always advocates for hanging on to the “essentials,” i.e. your flavorful wrought-iron skillet, the wicker basket in the corner that’s great for storage or your fav book that’s perfect on a rainy afternoon.

But while spring may mean a fresh start, it doesn’t have to mean new stuff. If it’s not broken, why replace it?

Donate It: Taking an inventory of your belongings shows you that tastes change and upgrades happen. But we all have those what-was-I-thinking? items as well. Even though these things are disposable to you, they may have many useful miles left. Keep items out of overcrowded landfills by asking family and friends if they have use for any of your unwanted items.

Recycle It: Commercial mail, old magazines, unread books – all of these common clutter items can be recycled. Consider this: A family of four uses 1.25 tons of paper per year on average, and the U.S. EPA reports that recycling 1 ton of paper saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, as well as enough energy to power the average American home for six months.

Trash It: Landfills should be used for items that truly have no other useful purpose. Be cautious when disposing of hazardous materials, as inappropriate distribution can cause toxic components to leach into the soil and groundwater. But even if something isn’t recyclable, chances are it may be reused in some creative capacity.

2. Spring clean the natural way.

Now that you’ve cleared the clutter and can actually see those countertops and hardwood floors, you still have to scrub off the grit and grime from the winter (ick!).

But harsh fumes from some traditional cleaners may do more harm than good: They can be responsible for around 10 percent of toxic exposures reported to poison control centers and are difficult to dispose of properly.

You can most likely find “green” or “natural” cleaning products at your grocery store. But you can save some money and make your own cleaning product from supplies you already have.

For spray cleaner: Use our Selestial All Purpose Cleaner that disinfects on contact! and great on all surfaces.  My wife says that our bathroom tiles and kitchen countertops have never been cleaner!  Yeah!

For deodorizing cleaning:  We also suggest using our Selestial All Purpose Cleaner truly all purpose.   Scrub dishes, surfaces and stains with a lemon that has been cut in half and sprinkled with baking soda on the flat side.

Keep in mind that homemade cleaners may not completely eliminate all bacteria, such as the H1N1 virus. Be sure you read your product’s label and follow the instructions as directed.

3. Go for an energy upgrade.

For most of us, going off the grid may not be in the budget (unless you got a huge tax refund that is). But if you’re looking for mucho savings on your electric bill, here are three super-easy changes you can make.

Replace incandescent light bulbs with efficient CFLs or LEDs.
Americans spend 20 percent of their electricity budget on lighting alone. Energy-efficient lighting can save the average household more than 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide and (get ready for this one) up to $110 per year in electricity costs.

Install a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts your home’s temp.
If the initial cost of a programmable thermostat (about $115) deters you, keep in mind that it can reduce your energy usage by more than 15 percent in the summer and up to 25 percent in the winter.

For those of you that need hard numbers, that’s up to $250 in heating and cooling costs every year you use it and $2,500 over the course of 10 years.

Shade your windows.
It sounds simple enough, but when you consider the huge difference it makes, you’ll wonder why you still have naked windows. While the sunlight is refreshing in the summer, using light colored blinds and drapes – which reflect light instead of absorbing it – can save you up to $210 per year on heating and cooling costs.

4. Wash your dirty car.

While you may think you’re doing your car (and your wallet) a favor by hand-washing it at home, it’s actually the opposite.

According to the International Car Wash Association, automatic car washes use less than half the water used when washing your car at home. The average home wash uses 80-140 gallons of water while the commercial average is 45 gallons.

Commercial car washes often reuse water and send the runoff to treatment centers instead of nearby lakes and streams. They also use high-pressure nozzles that require less water usage.

But if you’re dead-set on washing your car at home with the kids, here’s how to keep the impact at a minimum:

  • Park on gravel or grass so soapy water soaks into the ground, becomes filtered and recharges groundwater.
  • Avoid soaps with labels that say “harmful, danger or poison.”
  • Turn off the hose when you’re not using the water. During a 15-minute car wash, you could use 150 gallons of water if there isn’t an automatic shut-off nozzle.

5. No more excuses, start your compost!

We promise it’s easier than you think. For households, composting is a way to recycle certain materials and kitchen scraps and turn them into a beneficial soil amendment for home gardens and reduce waste output.

In fact, the U.S. EPA estimates that each American throws away an average of 1.3 pounds of food scraps daily. The combination of this food waste, along with yard trimmings, makes up 24 percent of our nation’s municipal solid waste stream.

What can go into the compost: Food scraps, grass clippings, plant cuttings, dry leaves, hay and straw, simple paper products (newspaper, cardboard, etc.), crushed egg shells, coffee grounds, sawdust and wood clippings. (Whew! That’s a lot.)

In short, it’s a no-brainer that composting will drastically reduce your waste.

Besides the process itself, knowing what ingredients should go into a backyard composting operation is essential for a successful outcome.

6. Plant the garden you’ve always wanted.

Want the freshest, most affordable, organic vegetables possible with absolutely no food miles? Make like the Obamas and grow your own.

It may seem like a lot of work, but the outcome will yield more than just fresh produce. You can reduce environmental damaged caused by traditional farming methods using large tractors and toxic pesticides. Having a backyard garden also reduces fuel usage associated with transport.

But now we’ll get to the best part: You can save up to $800 per year! The key to starting your own garden is picking the right spot, the best crops for your area and learning to maintain a healthy ecosystem.

And we didn’t forget about you fellow urbanites. If your space is limited, consider jumping on the urban gardening bandwagon. Options include renting shared spaces, utilizing rooftop access and even growing items in your own kitchen.

7. Get your fitness on.

So, how’s that New Year’s resolution going anyway? As the four month mark draws near, many of us have admittedly slacked off on the fitness adventures we embarked upon in January. Throw some spice back into your routine and get healthy for the environment’s sake. That’s right, we said it.

Studies show that physically active individuals pay, on average, about $1,500 a year in medical costs compared to those that don’t exercise. Those prescriptions, medical exams and doctors visits all come with significant eco costs.

American hospitals generate approximately 6,600 tons of waste daily. As much as 85 percent of that is non-hazardous solid waste, such as paper, cardboard, food waste, metal, glass and plastics, according to Practice Green Health.

But instead of paying those hefty gym fees, find a jogging buddy, download yoga classes online or get out that bike again and commute to work.

8. Have a cookout.

Yep, we’re telling you to throw a party. Spring is all about getting outside and dusting off the grill and having a good ‘ol fashioned cookout.

Before diving into this one, we want to point out that we are not trying to step on any grillmaster’s toes. The debate between charcoal and propane is a tough one: Which one produces more flavor? Which is cheaper, faster? And most importantly, which is more eco-friendly?

We consulted a recent study by Environment Impact Assessment Review to answer this one. Drum roll, please…

According to the study, “The overwhelming factors are that as a fuel, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) is dramatically more efficient than charcoal in its production and considerably more efficient in cooking.” The two grilling methods were defined by their overall footprint, with charcoal using 998 kg of CO2, almost three times more than propane, which weighed in at 349 kg.

ScienceDaily reports that as fuel, LPG is “dramatically more efficient than charcoal in its production.” When purchasing a propane tank, make sure there is a trade-in option. Most retailers will let you bring in an empty tank in exchange for a decent discount on your next tank.

HAPPY SPRING FROM ALL OF US AT SELESTIAL!

Get On Your Soap Box!

SOAP BOXES

 

 

 

 

The on line Urban Dictionary defines “Soap Box”  to someone having the attention of others as they speak.  So this month I literally and figuratively get on my “Soap Box” and now that I have your attention I speak of our new, state of the art, and environmentally sustainable packaging of our 100% natural and non-toxic laundry products from Selestial!  Our “Sun Box” is an all natural and very powerful powder formula to be used as a bleach alternative , multi cleaner and brightener with the power of Oxygen! Our “Soft Box” is a 100% naturally non-toxic Fabric Softener.  Completely clean rinsing leaving clothes soft and supple, 99.9% germ free with a slight fragrance of Cherry Essential Oils.  Next is our “Soft Bottoms Soft Box” specifically formulated for Baby Clothing and Cloth Diapers.  Safe for babies sensitive skin!  Borax and Allergen Free!  Finally our “Soap Box” Citrus, Spring Fresh, & UN-Scented Laundry Soap for the family contains no phosphates, dyes, optical brighteners, allergens, residues, perfumes, surfactants or worries!  Again all our Selestial products are 100% naturally non-toxic, hypoallergenic, biodegradable, cost efficient, hyper concentrated, non-sudsing, clean rinsing, safe for septic and grey water systems, great for standard or high efficiency machines.  Whew!  Look for these products soon at your favorite retailer or on line at www.selestialsoap.com.

2013….A Clean Slate

Was contemplating the other day what to write in our introductory message to this first month of the new year of 2013 for our blog posting.  And then it came to me:  CLEAN SLATE!  The wonder of a new year is that whatever happened last year is now in the rear view mirror and what we have to look forward to is a year that has a CLEAN SLATE with a myriad of real opportunities to make a real difference in our daily lives.  CLEAN SLATE is defined as follows:  an opportunity to start over without prejudice. fresh start.   At Selestial our slate is completely clean and excited about our fresh start with many new and exciting category and product launches that we will be featuring in the months to come. Yes, we will continue to be a company that “Save’s The Planet Within Your Budget”.  Our True Home Division Soap Box packaging is completed and will soon be available on line and at your favorite retailer.  Each Soap Box will deliver 134 HE loads in their new sustainable packaging.  The natural alternative to dryer sheets. our new and improved Dryer Buddiez  will be available in the first quarter of 2013.  I’ll Fly Away, our natural bug and insect repellent will be re-packaged into an aluminum container.  New items for you to look forward to seeing from Selestial will include a hand sanitizer and sun block.  Our ECOmmerical division will also see a complete transformation in product formulations to meet the ever increasing need for going green in the hospitality and lodging industry.  Marketing will also see major changes in our website, Facebook, Twitter, as well as a new state of the art one of a kind mobile app.  Whew!  Lot’s of stuff in the hopper so hang on for dear life as the Selestial green machine moves on in power and authority.  At Selestial we believe this to be a year of great promise.  Truly the best is yet to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Easy Green New Years Resolutions For The Eco-Slacker

 

 

It’s easy to think about all the big changes you’re going to make in the New Year as the old year comes to an end — but by the second week of January, most of us are already finding reasons to skip the gym or break the spending freeze. That’s why we’ve come up with ten green New Year’s resolutions so easy you’ll have no excuse not to keep them — and as they help you save money, cut your carbon footprint, decrease your home’s waste stream, and improve the quality of the Earth, you’ll be glad you did.

 

1. Never buy bottled water again

Trade your bottled water habit for an at-home filtering pitcher and you can help make a dent in the 1.5 million barrels of oil used to make plastic water bottles each year; pair it with a reusable bottle (like one made of glass, aluminum, or recycled plastic), and you’ll always be prepared to tackle your thirst. Bonus: With bottled water no longer on your shopping list, you could save as much as $1,400 this year.

2. Brew your own Fair Trade coffee

Carrying your own coffee in an insulated travel mug helps you reduce waste from cardboard cups and carrying sleeves — which are thrown away at a staggering rate of 58 billion each year. For greener at-home brewing, choose a Fair Trade blend that supports farmers; add organic milk instead of artificial creamers; and try a French press (instead of a traditional brewer) to save electricity.

 

3. Remember your reusable bags

With more than 1 million plastic bags ending up in the trash every minute, taking reusable bags to the store is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint — but the hardest part about using them is simply remembering to take them with you. A set like this one from Blue Avocado is almost impossible to forget: It comes with six different bags, sized for everything from frozen goods to fresh fruit, and the entire collection folds down into a slim packet for easy transport.

4. Cut back on paper towels

If you’re grabbing a paper towel for everything from wiping up spills and cleaning your counter to scrubbing the bathroom and keeping your hands clean at dinner, it’s time to make a change. Instead, invest in a few cotton cloths and some fabric napkins; then drop them in the wash when you run a load of laundry. Using the cloth alternatives is just as easy as using the paper versions, and you only need to buy them once — plus you can help eliminate the 3,000 tons of paper towels that end up landfills every day.

5. Use a bike for short trips

It takes a certain amount of dedication to permanently give up a car in favor of a bike, but even an eco-slacker can make it work for short trips that don’t require hauling a lot of stuff: picking up milk at the local grocery store, after-dinner ice cream at your favorite dessert spot, your morning yoga class, brunch with friends at the coffee shop. Ride your bike for trips shorter than 2 miles and you could cut your carbon footprint significantly, save money on gasoline and car maintenance, and increase your fitness level — all at the same time.

6. Order from your local CSA

Going to the farmer’s market always sounds like such a great idea — until Saturday morning rolls around and you realize you have to get up early, have enough cash, and fight other customers for the best strawberries. Instead, have your local CSA program do the hard part for you by putting together a box of their best produce each week — and, if you’re really feeling lazy, have it delivered right to your door so you get fresh, local fruits and vegetables without giving up your lazy coffee-and-crossword mornings.

7. Become a weekend vegetarian

Cutting meat out of your diet just two days a week can decrease your carbon footprint by about 1/3 of a ton — and coming up with meat-free meals for Saturday and Sunday isn’t as hard as it sounds. Try pancakes and fruit for breakfast; fresh salads or roasted vegetable sandwiches for lunch; and veggie pizza, bean soups, and creamy risottos for dinner. And since doubling a recipe rarely adds any time to your prep work, you can make extras to eat throughout the week (and trim your carbon footprint even more).

8. Eliminate phantom power

It takes approximately one second to unplug the charger for your cell phone, mp3 player, e-reader, or iPad — but if you really can’t be bothered, then let nifty, energy-efficient gadgets do the work for you. Use power strips to turn off all your appliances at once; put your television, DVD player, game system, and stereo on a timer so they automatically shut off overnight; and invest in chargers that stop drawing current when the device’s battery is full. You could cut your energy bill by as much as 10 percent annually — without lifting a finger.

9. Switch to green power

Switching your home to run on green power sounds like a big job — installing solar panels, geothermal energy, or a tankless hot water heater is not a job for the construction-impaired. But you can also make this happen without getting out of your chair: Call your local energy company and see if they offer renewable options (most do). You might see a small jump in your bill, but it’s an easy way to make a big change.

10. Replace your light-bulbs

Replacing your lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lights may be the ultimate change for the eco-slacker. Despite all the jokes, it takes only one person to change a lightbulb — and since CFLs last longer than traditional bulbs, you’ll be saving time for years down the road while cutting your energy use by as much as 80 percent. Can’t even face the hardware store? Order your bulbs online and have them come straight to your door.

 

 

Sneezy, Cold, Flu, And Other Myths

Don’t go out with wet hair. Cover your mouth when you cough. These classic “mom” cold and flu tips were recently put to the scientific test. The verdict: Most won’t keep us safe from viruses, though a few do have merit, says Rachel Vreeman, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. And Mom did get a couple of things right. Here, experts set the record straight on which motherly advice is worth taking.

1. You’ll get sick if you go out in the cold with wet hair.

Truth: Exposure to viruses-not skipping the blow-dryer-causes cold and flu.
“Scientists have studied this really well,” says Dr. Vreeman. “They’ve put cold viruses in the noses of two groups of people. One group was then exposed to cold/wet conditions, and people who were chilled were no more likely to get sick than those who weren’t.” Being outdoors can make your nose run (cold weather dilates blood vessels), but it doesn’t make you more susceptible to viruses.

2. Feed a cold, starve a fever.
Truth: This is half right.
When you’re congested, nutritious food will fortify your immune system. But when you’re feverish, your metabolism is revved up and you need more energy-not fewer calories-to fight off infection. Bottom line: Stay hydrated and eat well, no matter what your symptoms.

3. Avoid dairy when you have a cold.
Truth: There’s no medical basis to skip dairy when you’re sick.
Many people, including some pediatricians, believe that dairy products increase mucus production. However, research shows this may be a placebo effect. In one study, people who knew they were drinking cow’s milk reported more nasal symptoms than those who had soy milk-but people who didn’t know which milk they were drinking reported the same (minimal) effects.

4. You lose most of your body heat through your head. Truth: It’s wise to keep your head covered with a cozy hat.
Technically, you don’t lose more body heat through your head (about 10%, which is proportional to the body surface area), but it might feel that way, says Cleveland Clinic researcher Daniel Sessler, MD. That’s because your face is about 5 times more sensitive to temperature than other areas are. “It’s an early warning system that alerts you to put on a sweater or turn up the thermostat long before your core body temperature gets too cold,” says Dr. Sessler

5.Have some chicken soup.
Truth: There’s something to this age-old comfort food remedy.
Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken soup prepared with lots of veggies mitigates some of the inflammation responsible for cold symptoms, such as a runny nose and congestion. To get rid of common cold symptoms, you have to get rid of the inflammation that’s causing them, says Jack Gwaltney Jr., MD, a professor emeritus of medicine at the Center for the Prevention of Disease and Injury at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

6. Rest, don’t exercise, when you’re under the weather.
Truth: You do need to rest, but a little exercise might help you feel better.
In a study from Ball State University, volunteers with severe colds were divided into two groups, one of which exercised for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The other group simply rested. In both groups, cold symptoms lasted about 8 1/2 days (8.36 for the exercisers; 8.45 for the resters) and peaked during the morning hours. But as a group, the exercisers felt better in the afternoon and evening than the resters did.

7. Cover your mouth with your hand when you cough.
Truth: Although this might look polite and germ preventing, it’s anything but.
When you capture a cough or sneeze in your hand, you’re likely to pass your cold on to someone else. Cold viruses exist in large quantities in the nasal fluid of sick people and are easily transferred from their hands after even the briefest contact. You also leave viruses on doorknobs, phones, counter tops, and elevator buttons.

At Selestial we would like to add one more truth that certainly is not a myth.  Our Softening Rinse contains Colloidal Silver which is anti fungal, microbial, and staph fighting.  Especially as we enter this season of cold and flu germs  that our clothes tend to catch much quicker due to our being closed in for the majority of our days would it not be advantageous to use this product in your daily wash cycle to prevent sickness in your family.    You think?

The Case Against Fading Colors

As the leaves begin to change on this most colorful of all seasons it also reminds us at Selestial of an ongoing issue that many face in their daily laundry routine and that is fading color fabrics in their favorite outfits.  When doing our retail demos and promtions we lay three Pyrex glass dishes side by side, one with a leading national brand, one with the leading “green” detergent, and finally one with Selestial. Our aim is to show customers what and what is not going into their clothes to not make them cleaner, whiter, and brighter.  What you wash your clothes in not only absorbs into your skin but also into your clothes fabrics.  Over time the dulling and fading begin and you end up losing the luster that once was a part of that piece of clothing you originally purchased.  Our suggestion:  “Fall” in love with Selestial this month and do a side by side comparison I know you will discover the Selestial advantage.   Our products can be purchased at your favorite retailer or on line at www.selestialsoap.com Happy Laundering everyone!

On The Care Of Creation

On the Care of Creation

 

 

The Earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof- Psalm 24:1

As followers of Jesus Christ, committed to the full authority of the Scriptures, and aware of the ways we have degraded creation, we believe that biblical faith is essential to the solution of our ecological problems.

Because we worship and honor the Creator, we seek to cherish and care for the creation.

Because we have sinned, we have failed in our stewardship  of creation. Therefore we repent of the way we have polluted, distorted, or destroyed so much of the Creator’s work.

Because in Christ God has healed our alienation from God and extended to us the first fruits of the reconciliation of all things, we commit ourselves to working in the power of the Holy Spirit to share the Good News of Christ in word and deed, to work for the reconciliation of all people in Christ, and to extend Christ’s healing to suffering creation.

Because we await the time when even the groaning creation will be restored to wholeness, we commit ourselves to work vigorously to protect and  heal that creation for the honor and glory of the Creator—whom we know dimly through creation, but meet fully through Scripture and in Christ. We and our  children face a growing crisis in the health of the creation in which we are embedded, and through which, by God’s grace, we are sustained. Yet we continue to degrade that creation.

These degradations of creation can be summed up as 1) land  degradation; 2) deforestation; 3) species extinction; 4) water degradation; 5)  global toxification; 6) the alteration of atmosphere; 7) human and cultural degradation.

Many of these degradations are signs that we are pressing against the  finite limits God has set for creation. With continued population growth, these  degradations will become more severe. Our responsibility is not only to bear and nurture children, but to nurture their home on earth. We respect the institution of marriage as the way God has given to insure thoughtful procreation of children and their nurture to the glory of God.

We recognize that human poverty is both a cause and a consequence of environmental degradation.

Many concerned people, convinced that environmental problems are more spiritual than technological, are exploring the world’s ideologies and religions  in search of non-Christian spiritual resources for the healing of the earth. As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe that the Bible calls us to respond in four  ways:

First, God calls us to confess and repent of attitudes which devalue creation, and which twist or ignore biblical revelation to support our misuse of  it. Forgetting that “the earth is the Lord’s,” we have often simply used  creation and forgotten our responsibility to care for it.

Second, our actions and attitudes toward the earth need to proceed  from the center of our faith, and be rooted in the fullness of God’s revelation in Christ and the Scriptures. We resist both ideologies which would presume the  Gospel has nothing to do with the care of non-human creation and also ideologies which would reduce the Gospel to nothing more than the care of that creation.

Third, we seek carefully to learn all that the Bible tells us about  the Creator, creation, and the human task. In our life and words we declare that full good news for all creation which is still waiting “with eager longing for  the revealing of the children of God,” (Rom. 8:19).

Fourth, we seek to understand what creation reveals about God’s divinity, sustaining presence, and everlasting power, and what creation teaches  us of its God-given order and the principles by which it works.

Thus we call on all those who are committed to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to affirm the following principles of biblical faith, and to seek ways of living out these principles in our personal lives, our churches, and  society.

The cosmos, in all its beauty, wildness, and life-giving bounty, is the work of our personal and loving Creator.

Our creating God is prior to and other than creation, yet intimately involved with it, upholding each thing in its freedom, and all things in relationships of intricate complexity. God is transcendent, while lovingly sustaining each creature; and immanent, while wholly other than creation and not  to be confused with it.

God the Creator is relational in very nature, revealed as three persons in One. Likewise, the creation which God intended is a symphony of individual creatures in harmonious relationship.

The Creator’s concern is for all creatures. God declares all creation “good” (Gen. 1:31); promises care in a covenant with all creatures (Gen. 9:9-17); delights in creatures which have no human apparent usefulness (Job 39-41); and wills, in Christ, “to reconcile all things to himself” (Col.1:20).

Men, women, and children, have a unique responsibility to the Creator; at the same time we are creatures, shaped by the same processes and embedded in  the same systems of physical, chemical, and biological interconnections which  sustain other creatures.

Men, women, and children, created in God’s image, also have a unique responsibility for creation. Our actions should both sustain creation’s fruitfulness and preserve creation’s powerful testimony to its Creator.

Our God-given , stewardly talents have often been warped from their intended purpose: that we know, name, keep and delight in God’s creatures; that  we nourish civilization in love, creativity and obedience to God; and that we  offer creation and civilization back in praise to the Creator. We have ignored our creaturely limits and have used the earth with greed, rather than care.

The earthly result of human sin has been a perverted stewardship, a  patchwork of garden and wasteland in which the waste is increasing. “There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land…Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away” (Hosea 4:1,3). Thus, one consequence of our misuse of the earth is an unjust denial of God’s created bounty to other human beings, both now and in the future.

God’s purpose in Christ is to heal and bring to wholeness not only  persons but the entire created order. “For God was pleased to have all his  fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things,  whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood  shed on the cross” (Col. 1:19-20).

In Jesus Christ, believers are forgiven, transformed and brought into  God’s kingdom. “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation” (II Cor. 5:17). The presence of the kingdom of God is marked not only by renewed fellowship with  God, but also by renewed harmony and justice between people, and by renewed harmony and justice between people and the rest of the created world. “You will  go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isa. 55:12).

We believe that in Christ there is hope, not only for men, women and children, but also for the rest of creation which is suffering from the  consequences of human sin.

Therefore we call upon all Christians to reaffirm that all creation is  God’s; that God created it good; and that God is renewing it in Christ.

We encourage deeper reflection on the substantial biblical and theological teaching which speaks of God’s work of redemption in terms of the renewal and completion of God’s purpose in creation.

We seek a deeper reflection on the wonders of God’s creation and the  principles by which creation works. We also urge a careful consideration of how our corporate and individual actions respect and comply with God’s ordinances for creation.

We encourage Christians to incorporate the extravagant creativity of  God into their lives by increasing the nurturing role of beauty and the arts in  their personal, ecclesiastical, and social patterns.

We urge individual Christians and churches to be centers of creation’s  care and renewal, both delighting in creation as God’s gift, and enjoying it as  God’s provision, in ways which sustain and heal the damaged fabric of the  creation which God has entrusted to us.

We recall Jesus’ words that our lives do not consist in the abundance  of our possessions, and therefore we urge followers of Jesus to resist the  allure of wastefulness and overconsumption by making personal lifestyle choices  that express humility, forbearance, self restraint and frugality.

We call on all Christians to work for godly, just, and sustainable  economies which reflect God’s sovereign economy and enable men, women and  children to flourish along with all the diversity of creation. We recognize that  poverty forces people to degrade creation in order to survive; therefore we support the development of just, free economies which empower the poor and create abundance without diminishing creation’s bounty.

We commit ourselves to work for responsible public policies which embody the principles of biblical stewardship of creation.

We invite Christians–individuals, congregations and organizations–to  join with us in this evangelical declaration on the environment, becoming a  covenant people in an ever-widening circle of biblical care for creation.

We call upon Christians to listen to and work with all those who are  concerned about the healing of creation, with an eagerness both to learn from them and also to share with them our conviction that the God whom all people  sense in creation (Acts 17:27) is known fully only in the Word made flesh in Christ the living God who made and sustains all things.

We make this declaration knowing that until Christ returns to reconcile all things, we are called to be faithful stewards of God’s good garden, our earthly home.

Being Green Or Going Green

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over.  So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator or elevator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go a few blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana .  We also did not have remote controls for the TV. We kids were the remote for our parents. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. Whenever we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a cheap flimsy plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled our writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. Plus we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

I find it ironic that the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then. To realize the full irony, look at how many trees our “paperless society” has killed the past 30 years in our computerized world.

Summer Green Tips For Healthy Living

June 20th marked the official start of summer.  And it is the perfect time for everyone in your family to get involved and really look into the impact they make on the environment.  A lot of us are going to keep a laid back attitude during this season, however this does not mean we have to forget to still practice Living Green!

Here then are some practical things you can do with the whole family. to spend the summer days conscientiously:

 

  • Save on power.  It’s going to be hot and everyone knows it especially those of us in the Midwest section of the country who already have experienced record breaking temperatures much earlier than normal.  Chicago for instance had 13 straight days of 90 degrees or more.  So it is tempting to keep the air conditioning running all day long.  But that would mean an increase in electricity you pay for and use.  Choose to spend the day outdoors instead.  The summer is the best time for picnics and the beach.   I personally am just 15 minutes East of Lake Michigan.  Or better yet gathering the family and bicycling around your city.  Many municipalities now have safe designated bike baths and it is something the whole family can enjoy.
  • Shop at the Flea Market or Bargain Sites.  As people have hopefully completed their spring cleaning,  it’s now time to check out what they have by looking into garage sales and flea market finds.  You can definitely save a whole lot of money buying someone’s trash and turning it into your own personal treasure.
  • Get involved in your communities summer activities.  There might be a sport event even in your neighborhood where you can participate.  If there is none, you be the one to organize one with your friends.  This way you will also encourage other people to spend summer outdoors.
  • Finally walk and explore your neighborhood.  You probably don’t do this as much during any other time and summer would be perfect to get to know new people and welcome in the area.

Tips For A Green Father’s Day

 

Celebrate Dad and the Planet!

 

Father’s Day is around the corner, and since we know some super eco-friendly dads out there, it seems like a great time to find a few more ways to celebrate the Father’s in our lives while showing some love for our environment. Here are our ideas to show dad you care about him and the world he helped bring you into!

 

    • Hit a local trail or park. What better way to fit in some dad bonding time than in the great outdoors? Check out a nearby rail trail with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s or make it a tradition to plant a Father’s Day tree!
    • Get green on the laundry machine!  What better way to keep Dad’s clothes:  casual, work-out, dress in tip  top condition than using Selestial 100% natural and pure laundry products from start to finish.  It will not only make Dad cleaner-whiter, and brighter but also extend the life of his threads!
    • Get green on the green. Recycled tees and eco balls make perfect gifts for golf-enthusiast dads.

 

    • Is dad more into angling? Encourage your dad, uncles, and grandfathers alike to use a vintage fishing pole rather than a brand new model. Better yet, do the legwork for him and scout out some great finds on Craigs List or Ebay.

 

    • Give the gift of solar. For gadget loving dads, hand-cranked or solar powered chargers are perfect for loading up smart-phones, mp3 players and laptops on the go and on the next family camping trip.

 

    • Green dad’s gym routine. If physical fitness is on your dad’s to-do list, outfit him with some fresh eco-friendly workout threads or a reusable water bottle to keep him moving and hydrated.

 

    • Fire up the Father’s Day grill. Father’s day and grilling a great meal go hand in hand – so hit up your local farmers market for some local, organic veggies and get cookin’!

 

    • Help dad ditch the disposables. Despite the juice needed to power them, electric razors are a greener choice than disposable ones – and a solar charged razor is even better! Look for a trusted brand when shopping for a new razor, since lasting power is key.

 

(Article Adapted From Earth Share)